Award-winning amateur porn maven Mike South is home from the hospital after undergoing surgery to remove a nerve-sheath tumor from his back.
"I'm happy to be home," South told AVN.com. "The doctors told me that considering my setbacks, my recovery has been remarkable."
Despite ongoing, acute pain, South was in good spirits as he recounted his ordeal. "Someone had noticed that I was kinda walking with a limp, so I went to my physician in December to have it checked out, and he sent me to an orthopedic specialist, who did some nerve testing," he said. "The specialist initially thought he had identified the problem as a genetic disease, and he sent me in for an MRI...the MRI showed something at top of my lower back, so they did another MRI of the middle back, and that one showed a nerve sheath tumor – a big one. A neurosurgeon told me, 'It's amazing to me that you're even able to walk.' The tumor had pushed my spine against the backbone and it was compressing my spinal cord. Two weeks later, I went under the knife and they removed 99 percent of the tumor on February 21 – a day I'll never forget."
According to South, mishaps involving his pain medication prolonged his hospitalization. "I expected to be home in three days," he said. "Eight days later, I was still in the hospital; the surgery went well, but the hospital damn near killed me. Finally, when I took over my own pain medication management and after five days finally got it all controlled and delivered properly for 24 straight hours I started improving dramatically."
For the next 30 days, South will be recuperating at home; he hopes to make a complete recovery within three months. Prior to surgery, he was able to shoot enough content to sustain his adult-video operations for at least that amount of time.
"I went up to Dayton where my friend Tim Case runs the Flamingo, and I shot enough content to keep me going for 12 weeks," he said. "I was fortunate to be able to do that. As far as my next paid gig, Dan Davis of Genesis asked me if I wanted to shoot Miami Exxxotica, and that's right at the end of the 90-day period. So if I can do it, that will be my first paying gig, and then I'll go back to shooting for magazines, websites and DVDs."
South offered sincere praise and thanks to the many people in the biz who sent well-wishes and support, including Dan Davis, Katy Zvolerin, Dave Cummings, Robert Lombard, Tim Case and Felicia Fox.
"I love the people in this biz; many are some of the best all-around human beings I have ever met," South told AVN.com. "Ashley, one of my models, stayed with me 24/7 and she only missed two nights while I was in the hospital. She was with me until the day before yesterday, and she never complained. She went way beyond the call of duty, and she's been wonderful- she's the most unselfish person I've ever met in my whole life."
Mike South can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] The staff of AVN wishes Mr. South a speedy recovery.